FOUR VILLAGES INN: OUR OWN LITTLE TAX REVOLT

Posted on June 4, 2009

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So there you have it. Four Villages Inn is a “lovely private home“, “some distance from the town centre“. Yes, we built Four Villages in a first class residential zone where we have paid the highest taxes in the city for ten years and where, until January, 2009, we enjoyed the peace and quiet this zone offers. But then a certain hotel owner decides to lease out a drinking bar area in no-man’s land in front of his one star hotel and there is no support by the GHANA TOURIST BOARD, the licensing authority.

Now we’d like to make known our own  little tax revolt. Testing democracy!

It has been five months and public officials have barely attended to Four Villages Inn’s complaints regarding  noise pollution. The following e-mail was sent on Saturday May 23rd to the Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourist Board, Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah:

Dear Ben,

If you came here and sat in Four Villages Inn  and said “I don’t think the music is too loud”, I probably would get very upset. But you have never come to Four Villages regarding this situation. Whatever, I would not get so upset as to grab you hard by the neck and push you violently in the back like Nana Kofi, the proprietor of Lahana Avon, did to me when I was at the bar asking them quietly to please lower the volume.

Please bring this to the attention of your superiors in Accra. Let them know how you dealt with this situation and inform them that FOUR VILLAGES INN refuses to pay its G.T.B. license fee for 2009. I want you to copy your letter or e-mail it to me. Undoubtedly, you need help doing your job here.

It should have been you that helped co-ordinate an effort with the K.M.A. and the E.P.A. to solve this situation given the fact it involves one hotel victimizing another.

Best wishes,

Chris Scott

c.c. Mr. Donkor, Director, K.M.A. Environmental Health
c.c. Mrs. Philomena Boakye Appiah, Ag Regional Director, E.P.A., Kumasi
c.c. Executive Director, E.P.A., Accra
c.c. Mr. T.F. Agyekum, Chairman, Ghana Hotels Association, Kumasi

No response-not an e-mail, not a visit, and I’m posting this on June 4th,has been received from the regional manager. No meeting has been arranged by the GHANA TOURIST BOARD between the owner of Lahana Avon, the leasee of the bar Jina, and FOUR VILLAGES INN.

In a previous post May 20th entitled Democracy in Ghana: Public Service Response to Citizenry, I prematurely celebrated democracy. Since receiving the E.P.A. letter informing Four Villages of noise abatement notices and monitoring, not one official from the E.P.A. has come to FOUR VILLAGES INN. Many a night the music was blaring away and the letter below concerns a new development-Sunday music during the day! The letter below gives further details concerning the situation and just how exasperating it all is. NO YAHOO here.

FOUR VILLAGES INN

P.O. BOX KS 3374

KUMASI

TEL: 051-22682, 020-7667559

E-MAIL : scottash@hotmail.com

2009-05-21

Ag. Regional Director

E.P.A.

Kumasi

Dear Madam:

Thank you for your letter dated 18-05-09 acknowledging receipt of my two complaints, the drinking bar and the apeteshie bar and informing Four Villages Inn  that noise abatement notices have been issued and your organization would be monitoring the establishments.

This letter is to inform you that we now have to put up with noise from Jina’s Kitchen  in this first class residential zone not only every night of the week from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., but also on Sundays. This past Sunday, the drinking bar in front of Lahana Avon Hotel started serving  Emotuo. How painful it was seeing the sun blazing down on the concrete in no-man’s-land where no tables were put out and nobody was sitting and hearing the music blaring out! I had wanted to go over, but I was afraid of Nana Kofi, the proprietor of Lahana Avon Hotel who physically accosted me last time I went over to quietly request that the music be lowered.

I might add that I am copying this e-mail  to the son-in-law of the 71 year old owner of  Plot 27, Old Bekwai Road, Atasomanso, Mme Mireku, Your personnel interviewed her. She is most affected by the loud music coming from the drinking bar in that she is directly across the road from Jina’s Kitchen.

Allow me here to bring you up to date on action taken by the K.M.A. At a meeting with Mr. Donkor, Director of Environmental Health, Jina was ordered to lower the music and turn the two large loud speakers in towards the bar and the hotel. These orders are constantly disregarded making a mockery of the authority of the K.M.A. I would recommend that together the K.M.A. and the E.P.A. confront Nana Kofi and Jina, along with their subordinates Andy and Raymond.

For eight years Nana Kofi respected the zoning. There was never loud music coming from his premises.  I might also add that no other hotels in Atasomanso are affected by loud music: not Swiss Cottage, not Solita, not Lord Cecil’s Lodge, not Crystal Rose annex. Furthermore, the same is true in the villages of Adiebeba  and Ahodwo: not Greenleaf, not Cetakel, not Royal Park, not True Vine, not Cozy Lodge, not Dominion Lodge, not Diplomat, not Cicero, not Chariset, not King’s Hotel.

It’s just Lahana Avon and Four Villages, and Lahana Avon is the culprit!

In your monitoring, we humbly request you do not go to the offending party as you have been doing. Come to Four Villages and go to Mme Mireku at plot 27. There is a back gate to enter so as not to bring attention to your officers. Take your readings from Mme Mireku’s bedroom, the poor woman!

I would like to caution you that on particular evenings there might not be loud music. When Nana Kofi has his own guests, things are quiet. Jina’s Kitchen is undoubtedly alerted by the manager of Lahana Avon, a guy named Andy, who is her brother. That was how Jina came to make the huge investment paying a good will for five years! How unfortunate she did not receive wise counsel before paying such a large amount of money to establish a drinking bar in a first class residential area, in no-man’s-land, at the bottom of a hill beside a busy road scheduled for widening, in front of a one star hotel built on the property line that has its own bar and restaurant  inside its gates.

Once again we appeal for your intervention in this situation. Good governance is the order of the day in Ghana. Long reign civil society in Ghana!

Yours faithfully,

Chris Scott

Manager

c.c. The Executive Director, E.P.A. Accra

c.c. Mr. Donkor, Director, K.M.A. Environmental Heath

c.c. Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah, Regional Manager, Ghana Tourist Board, Ashanti

c.c. Mr. T.F. Agyekum, Chairman, Ghana Hotels Association, Ashanti

c.c. Ebenezer Frans, plot 27, Old Bekwai Road

Stay tuned, will FOUR VILLAGES INN enjoy the tranquil atmosphere it enjoyed for most of its existance? Let’s see if democracy rules the day in our little corner GHANA after our little tax revolt??????

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